The National Wild Turkey Federation (NWTF) presented the Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI) with its Land Stewardship Award during the 40th annual NWTF National Convention and Sport Show in Nashville, Tennessee on Saturday. SFI was chosen for its commitment to conservation, promoting responsible forest management for the benefit of the nation's forests and wildlife, and for partnering to support the NWTF's important work.
The NWTF created the Land Stewardship Award in 1994 to recognize organizations for excellence in land management, partnerships, and NWTF project support. The award also recognizes those who have done outstanding work to benefit natural resources through land stewardship.
"It is an absolute pleasure to receive the NWTF Land Stewardship Award. SFI, and the natural resource managers that use the SFI Standards, understand the importance of partnering to achieve our shared goals of habitat management and conservation. In fact, this award really goes to these managers who practice responsible forest management across the more than 280 million acres/110 million hectares of forestland certified to the SFI Forest Management Standard," said Kathy Abusow, President and CEO of SFI Inc.
NWTF is a natural partner for SFI because of their tremendous track record of conservation achievements. In the eyes of many, restoration of the wild turkey population, led by the NWTF, is one of the greatest conservation success stories in the history of North American wildlife. From a low 1.5 million birds in 1973, today there are more than 7 million.
"We were pleased to present SFI this award at our 40th annual convention. Our future looks bright and I'm confident that our partnership with SFI will advance our shared interest in conserving forests and wildlife habitat. We are working hard together to build this partnership. It will make a real difference for our current members and for generations to come," said George Thornton, CEO of NWTF.
One of the ways SFI and NWTF are helping each other achieve mutually beneficial goals is the NWTF's work to promote the SFI Forest Partners® Program, which aims to increase certification, and connect the benefits of responsible forest management to stakeholders throughout the supply chain. This enhances sustainability and in turn enables current and future generations to enjoy America's forests for years to come. SFI and the NWTF also share a focus on promoting youth education in conservation through Boy Scouts of America and other leading outdoor youth education programs.
SFI is also pleased that the NWTF will use SFI-labeled materials for NWTF Turkey Transport Boxes and for NWTF publications such as Turkey Country and JAKES Country magazines. SFI on-product labels are recognized globally and provide a visual cue to help customers source products from responsibly managed forests.
"Setting a positive example for the use of sustainably produced materials is yet another example of the NWTF's commitment to conservation in the broadest sense. We are truly fortunate to have them as a partner and privileged to receive the Land Stewardship Award," Abusow said.
About the Sustainable Forestry Initiative® Inc. (SFI)
SFI® Inc. is an independent, nonprofit organization that is solely responsible for maintaining, overseeing and improving the internationally-recognized SFI program. SFI works at the intersection of sustainable forestry, thriving communities and responsible procurement. Across the United States and Canada, more than280 million acres/110 million hectares are certified to the SFI Forest Management Standard and millions more are positively influenced by SFI Fiber Sourcing. The SFI Standards are based on principles that promote sustainable forest management. The SFI Forest Management Standard includes measures to protect water quality, biodiversity, wildlife habitat, special sites, species at risk, forests with exceptional conservation value, and indigenous people's rights. SFI Inc.is governed by a three-chamber board of directors representing environmental, social and economic sectors equally. Learn more at sfiprogram.org.